As though Greece didn’t have enough problems on the weekend already, the latest Olympiacos-Panathanikos clash also ended in a bit of controversy yesterday evening.
In short, the visiting Greens trailed throughout the game, digging themselves as much as a 20-point hole. However, Mike Batiste and Ioannis Bourousis helped bring PAO back in the second half (when each was not battling foul trouble) to get the visitors to within three at 78-75 with possession after a timeout.
For the crucial buzzer-beater, Batiste was the man. For Panathinaikos backers, the result was good news/bad news. Yes, the American mainstay hit the shot but the initial ruling that Batiste has sunk a three ball was overruled by a second referee in better position to make the call – quite justifiably so as evidenced by the clip.
Happily, it seems rioting in the country was limited to areas outside the stadium and no major incidents involving fans were reported.
In the bigger picture, the loss gives Olympiacos (16-1) a three-point (or 1½ game) advantage over their 14-2 rival on the Greek League table with no further regular-season meetings to be held between the sides. Kolossos Rhodes holds third place at 13-3 and host the Reds on Wednesday.
Olympiacos is now 4-0 overall in February, having won five consecutive matches since suffering back-to-back Euroleague losses vs. CSKA Moscow and at Galatasaray.